Is India About to Alter the World’s Energy Future?

Should India successfully pull this off, more power to them.

Since 1951, the Indian government has somehow managed to fail in every single attempt to reach its annual target of increasing the nation’s electricity production capacity. But while the nation continues to struggle with crippling blackouts and power shortages till today, an energy plan, conceived during the 1950s, may fundamentally alter the nation’s, and quite possibly the world’s, energy future.

Thorium, like its Norse god and Marvel superhero namesake, is expected to change the world.

Thorium-Fuelled Dreams

Thorium is a naturally occurring radioactive chemical element that is named after the Norse god of thunder, Thor. Discovered in 1828 by Swedish chemist Jons Jakob Berzelius, the 90th element on the periodic table has been described by Forbes as possibly “the biggest energy breakthrough since fire.”

According to Greentech Media, Thorium the potential to replace uranium as a ultra-cheap and ultra-safe nuclear energy source. Not only is the metal approximately three times as abundant as uranium in the earth’s crust, but it also contains up to 200 times the energy density.

“So why on earth are we using uranium?” asked Marin Katusa of Forbes. “As you may recall, research into the mechanization of nuclear reactions was initially driven not by the desire to make energy, but by the desire to make bombs.”

“The $2 billion Manhattan Project that produced the atomic bomb sparked a worldwide surge in nuclear research, most of it funded by governments embroiled in the Cold War. And here we come to it: Thorium reactors do not produce plutonium, which is what you need to make a nuke.”

After decades of relative obscurity however, Thorium is finally attracting increasing interest as an energy source from around the world. Apart from India, China has also announced its intentions to develop a thorium nuclear reactor, while Canada, Germany, Netherlands, the United Kingdom and the United States have all experimented with using thorium as a substitute nuclear fuel in existing nuclear reactors.

India’s thorium plans though are possibly the most well known and most promising of them all.

Full article: Is India About to Alter the World’s Energy Future? (Oil Price)

Iran And India: A Tangled Web Of Oil And Geopolitics

India and Iran have had a long relationship stretching back to ancient times. Iranian (or Persian) influence has produced a deep imprint upon Indian art, poetry, architecture and literature. With periodic invasions, military adventures and constant cross-migrations between the two empires, the people of Iran and northern India share many cultural and ethnic characteristics.

In the 21st century, the relations between these two great nations must be framed along the lines of geo-politics and oil, rather than art and culture.

Although India was greatly worried by the 1979 revolution in Iran that toppled the Shah and established an Islamic state, New Delhi and Teheran have generally enjoyed good relations. That tie became stronger with India’s insatiable appetite for energy in tandem with western sanctions that have pressured Iran to find customers for its crucial oil exports.

Indeed, India -which criticized the sanctions by the U.S., United Nations and European Union – recently became Iran’s top oil buyer.

Full article: Iran And India: A Tangled Web Of Oil And Geopolitics (International Business Times)